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The mode of passion: Rajo Guna

As per Ayurveda, the modes of nature have been divided into three categories, Sattva, Rajas and Tama. They are the modes which act mainly on the physical and the mental behavior of a person and hence, have a nice as well as a predominant effect on the nature of a person.

The second guna is Rajo Guna or the mode of passion. This is the mode of hankering and is directly with a confused mind. When one comes in the mode of passion, he can experience that his senses have gone to the verge of uncontrolled behavior and are running hither and thither.

The scripture Bhagwad Gita illustrates the effect of mode of passion on various activities.

Bg 14.7 — The mode of passion is born of unlimited desires and longings, O son of Kuntī, and because of this the embodied living entity is bound to material fruitive actions.

Bg 14.9 — passion conditions one to fruitive action;.

Bg 14.12 —  O chief of the Bhāratas, when there is an increase in the mode of passion the symptoms of great attachment, fruitive activity, intense endeavor, and uncontrollable desire and hankering develop.

Bg 14.15 —  When one dies in the mode of passion, he takes birth among those engaged in fruitive activities

Bg 14.16 — action done in the mode of passion results in misery,

Bg 14.17 — from the mode of passion, greed develops

Bg 14.18 — those in the mode of passion live on the earthly planets;


This is a brief description of a personality situated in the mode of passion. Mode of passion is predominated by the sour, salty and pungent taste and the food which is burning. Foods that are too bitter, too sour, salty, hot, pungent, dry and burning are dear to those in the mode of passion. Such foods cause distress, misery and disease. (Bhagwad Gita 17.9).

When a person is in the mode of passion, he is unable to make discrimination between what is good and what is bad. He is very much jumbled, aggressive and has got little control over his mind. Such a person becomes confused about what to do and what not to and sometimes commits Pragyaparadh, the cause of all mental miseries in the science of Ayurveda. He eats what is forbidden sometimes due to the urge of his tongue and what is not good for his health, he sometimes omits the same. He knows what the seasonal regime is and what is to be taken and what is not to be taken, but sometimes follows and sometimes not. Since his senses are illuminated by confusion, he has a disturbed mindset and hence, is prone to mental illness.

He comes to the stage of delirium tremens and hence, may have to suffer the result of the same.




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